Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Day

When I was a little girl, we had a tradition of traveling to Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington, to clean and decorate our family members' graves. Everyone's grown older and moved away, but every so often we still get together to fix up the graves. My grandmother says that her mother, Adina Keithler, used to spend a week picking flowers from her yard and making elaborate arrangements to place on the family graves on Memorial Day. I'd love to carry on that tradition.

Willamette National Cemetery, Portland, Oregon. We have several loved ones buried here. It's beautiful and I love visiting any other day but Memorial Day, when it's a zoo.

Our Gran. We all miss him dearly. (We miss everyone else too - but he died more recently and it's still pretty tender.)

Neenaw's parents, Poppy (Howard) and Grandma (Adina)

Aunt Rose and Uncle Kenneth - Aunt Rose is Adina's youngest sister. They're right across the cemetery driveway from each other.

Jennie Keithler, Howard's mother, at Park Hill Cemetery in Vancouver. Her husband Ignatius Keithler died long before she did and is buried in Montana. She was a plucky little widow for almost forty years before she passed away. Neenaw says she refused to live with any of her children - always wanted to keep her independence. I don't blame her.

John Lawrence Keithler, son of Howard and Adina, also at Park Hill. His headstone is always completely overgrown whenever we visit and is also the hardest to find (guilty voice: "Maybe if we visited more often, we'd know where his grave is...."). John was a young man, only 29 when he died, and the family bought two plots and a double headstone for him and his wife Corky. Corky probably always planned on being buried beside him, but being young herself, was married again and died in Wyoming. So we still have this plot and half a headstone... hmmmm. (Not that we're anxious to fill it or anything.)

Howard Ernest, son of Howard and Adina, buried in the children's section at Park Hill Cemetery. He died at age fourteen.

Have a wonderful Memorial Day. I hope you are able to visit some family graves today.


  1. Thanks for posting Gran's gravestone. I haven't seen it since he was buried.... it brings tears to my eyes, I love and miss him so much!

  2. I know what you mean :) Can't wait to see him again.